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Olajumoke Awosemo: Lavish Wedding or Not…. What Keeps a Marriage is Genuine Love

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dreamstime_l_55892614I recently stumbled on a comment updated on one of these strictly for ladies Facebook group pages about how wedding ceremonies are overrated these days, with too many side attractions that have no bearing whatsoever on the success of the marriage. The writer went further to say that it’s mostly all for ‘show off’ and concluded by saying that single brothers now have to keep up because ‘Bae’ has seen stuff on BellaNaija that she must do.

As expected, these remarks generated several hundreds of likes and diverse follow on comments. On the first note, I thought of how social media has made us all to be very unapologetically opinionated about anything and everything. Then it also occurred to me that it was Facebook that asked ‘what was on the writer’s mind’ hence the opinion. It wasn’t even so much as the main statements but the ensuing comments. Some people in agreement went further to question the importance of pre-wedding photos that have become the sudden rave of the moment and others wondered at the level of attention to detail seen at the recent weddings. The general opinions swayed towards these unions not being happy or even lasting at all.

I want to believe that it’s not a fair assumption to say that because a wedding was lavish, then the marriage is destined for doom. In simpler terms, that I decide to wear three different wedding dresses, hire the best event planner and have all my girls do a serious Beyhive-like formation behind me does not mean that I haven’t sought God’s face alone and with my husband to be. It doesn’t imply that we haven’t attended intense counselling sessions and have both promised to put all that we have learnt to use and also keep learning in the marriage; our fasting won’t show in the pre-wedding photos, nor would the educational books that we have read to prepare ourselves be highlighted in the wedding program.

There is absolutely nothing wrong in desiring and having a big wedding if the couple and their families can afford it. Parents who are exceptionally proud of their children could decide to spare no cost at giving them a grand wedding ceremony with their clean and hard earned funds. Couples could agree to save up to pay for their desired wedding ceremony. It doesn’t mean that it’s a misplaced priority. The point is that our priorities as individuals are just different. I know some friends who asked their parents how much they were willing to spend for their wedding and they collected these funds from their parents and decided to start a decent life for themselves- in general, it is a case of each to his own. It is also interesting to note that even guys these days seem to be enjoying the whole pomp & pageantry associated with weddings. Ask me which guy doesn’t like his men all flanked around him – whether in the Yoruba demon Agbada costume or with the beautiful wrappers tied around their waist. It is not always the case about pitying the single guys. What’s there to pity if the man also wants it?

Do I agree that some people just do these things to keep up with the Joneses? Absolutely! Am I aware that some run into millions in debt just to have these one/two day shenanigans? Of course but that is left for them to carry their own cross. A gist was told of a couple who were still paying up debt from their weddings as at the naming ceremony of their first child, more than a year after the wedding. That makes no sense at all.

The point here is that marital bliss or lack of it has absolutely nothing to do with the lavishness or simplicity (low key-ness) of the wedding ceremony. People with very low key weddings also have marital issues or even divorces. We only hear news about the failure of the big weddings because they were made public in the first place.

Nothing in life is set in stone. Whether or not the wedding was lavish, what keeps a marriage going is genuine love and reverence for God, conscious commitment on both sides and an enduring friendship. It is best not to stand in the place of judgment and let each man do what pleases him or herself.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Olajumoke Awosemo is an HR Professional, a Personal Shopper and a Self-Developed writer. Her interest in writing focuses mainly on relationships, marriage and related issues but sometimes touches on other current issues. She is a wife, a mother and jointly manages a relationship blog with her husband at www.hookedandthrilled.com/blogger. She also runs her personal shopper business at www.hookedandthrilled.com/shopper"

40 Comments

  1. Teju TJ

    April 28, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    My name is Teju and I approve this message. The size of a wedding has no bearing on the success of a marriage. No bearing whatsoever. Not even love is enough because you could love each other and still end up signing divorce papers. God’s grace is required at a 100%.

    • Tee

      April 29, 2016 at 1:34 am

      Just to add to what Teju said. 100% hard work. 100% God.100% commitment.100% team work. I’m not married but I know even relationships are hard.

    • Becca

      April 29, 2016 at 10:09 am

      God’s grace doesn’t stop the abuse of minors, feed the hungry, heal the sick but it is marriage he will be dashing favours too? How inept of him. Almost as daft as the post I read on the bride to be sharing bread with god and discussing the conversion of her muslim husband.

      At best God has given us reason, use it. Successful marriages are evident in all religions , pagans, wiccans and unbelievers. God is not the common denominator. Yes it takes hardwork and commitment. But it takes no special favours from God to make a marriage work. If it is 100% God’s grace then he is fully 100% responsible for marriage failures too since he didn’t sprinkle gracious fairy dust on your union.

    • Smh

      April 29, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      Becca, we get you are an atheist, fine, but that doesn’t mean you have to JUMP on every comment which makes reference to God. Do you, and let others do them. Shikena

    • Becca

      April 29, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      @Smh, I’m a pantheist and I will comment on what ever picks my interest, all religions are open to ridicule and monotheists never fail to amuse me with their anthropomorphic God.
      You say the grace thanking God for the food but can’t see that if he is indeed responsible for giving you food then he decides who eats and who starves & should be held accountable. It’s like thanking armed robbers for sparing you and killing the family next door instead. Oh that reminds me, it’s passover season at the moment, where your ever so good and nice God decides which innocent children to kill to prove a point. Think of it that way instead of it as him saving his beloved people.
      God would be in the Hague on charges of racism, genocide and war crimes if he tried that in our times not being whitewashed and worshipped every Sunday.

    • Smh

      April 29, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      atheist, pantheist, wharreva mehn, just let others breathe! It is not by force ehn

  2. Ginger

    April 28, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    Exactly! I think the reason most divorced couples people know are well-off is for two reasons:
    1) The women are more likely to be financially stable, either by birth or in her own right. Thus she has much less to lose (financially) if she leaves, whereas many women stay because they literally can’t ‘afford’ to leave
    2) The divorce rate is really high, but you know of popular/wealthy people doing it because you know who they are/you care to know

    I actually think it’s harder for me to leave a failing marriage BECAUSE my parents are ‘prominent.’ They’re more likely to pressure me to stay in such a marriage so I won’t mar their name and ‘shame’ them in their social circle,in society, even in church etc. The same reason most wives of wealthy/powerful men (even outside Nigeria) stay with their physically/emotionally abusive husbands. And I’m sure it’s the same for the men too.

    • Californiabawlar

      April 29, 2016 at 7:11 am

      Yes oh! Divorce rate is super high! One of my sisters might get one (hopefully!!). She had a massive wedding, it was a carnival and my mum doesn’t even feel any type of way about it. She said her and her colleagues be sharing notes on their kids’ shitty marriages. She said they even make jokes about how our generation of children are making them waste their money.
      Our parents have lived their lifes. Yes they love us and care about their reputations but when push comes to shove omo ma pa mi will turn to omo ma para e (child don’t me will change to child don’t kill yourself).

    • Becca

      April 29, 2016 at 10:58 am

      Your happiness and peace of mind should come before family shame or image. How disgraceful of parents to put public image ahead of their child’s happiness. Your parents should have your back and support your decision. They are the ones who should be ashamed of themselves. Isn’t that how one girl but butchered by her husband because her fam kept sending her back so not to tarnish them. Now the don’t have a daughter.

      No wonder depression and mental breakdown is so high when people are no longer living their own lives but breaking themselves to suit defunct societal expectations.

  3. j'suis belle

    April 28, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    i am not married yet but i totaly agree that an expensive or lowkey wedding has got nothing to do with the duration of a couple’s marriage,but on the other hand love enough doesn’t sustain a union.because there other factors that will make any relationship or marriage stand the test of time.we have for example communication,honesty, respect,committment;undertanding and tolerance. on another hand i too have being reading on mean blogs and media that people will do anything to be showcased on BELLANAIJA,so girls listen because its no so much they guy’s bizness. You don’t have to appear here if you don’t want to its not a do or die affair;don’t go borrowing because your friends or female family members did so;

  4. I like

    April 28, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Lovely write up author, well tolerance of each other plays a huge role in sustaining a marriage, moi didn’t have the talk of town wedding and I have had my fair share of the upandans of marriage, forgive what you can, change what you can, stomach what you can, turn a blind eye and deaf ears to what has potential of giving high blood pressure and keep in constant touch with your creator. May our Big and Small weddings find lasting Joy.

  5. Mabel

    April 29, 2016 at 12:51 am

    I always wonder why it is what is lavish or wealth that is always under attack. Folks act as if a wedding with just the two participants and witnesses do not also end up in divorce. Humble weddings have no more guarantee of success than lavish ones. No style of wedding guarantees a successful marriage. So if you want lavish and can easily afford it, then go for it. If you want humble, then go for it. Do whatever method that makes you happy because none will have an impact on the day to day demands of marriage.

  6. dee

    April 29, 2016 at 1:41 am

    Nice article. Just a small correction – pomp and peagentry, not prom ….. Just for d sake of those reading and for appropriate grammar purposes.
    All d same, nice article. Lots of truth in it. I like d fact that you didn’t categorically write off those who do have d big costly weddings. Most important thing is love rooted in a godly life perspective. Ihe ndi ozo bu addendum.

  7. ElessarisElendil

    April 29, 2016 at 1:57 am

    Permit me if I may to rephrase the question; If your fiance looks you in the eye and asks you nay begs you to only head to the registry with him, how many women will agree?? If like me you believe that a majority of women (or) and her family will pressure for the white/traditional wedding, you should see why that marriage is already on a shaky foundation.

    What keeps a marriage is compromise, love is merely repackaged passing fancy, learn to outgrow fairy tales.

    • mz_daniels

      April 29, 2016 at 11:49 am

      but why will hubby beg me to go to registry and forget my dream wedding now. It is unfair oh except I know he really has financial constraints and he promises me a verrry big vow renewal probably on our 5th wedding anniversary, then, maybe ………… I want a BIGGGGG wedding oh and the funny thing is I’m naturally an understated person

  8. femz

    April 29, 2016 at 4:46 am

    Marriage is not for the ungodly

    • Becca

      April 29, 2016 at 11:16 am

      LOOOOL.
      The ‘ungodly’ were the ones who started marriage ceremonies. Pagan handfastings which mark a union, his hand in hers with public vows of commitment & celebration were long in place before christian marriages. Marriage has its origins in pagan traditions. If you study judeo-christian history or even catholic history, the jews post new testament were not even monogamous. It was the Romans who by decree banned polygamy and forced monogamy on Christians. Even the early popes were in polygamous marriages until the vatican banned marriage so it could inherit a pope’s estate instead of it going to his offspring.

    • Mabel

      April 29, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      Becca, I saw upthread where you said you were pantheist, well, so am I. BN is quite the eclectic blog.

    • ElessarisElendil

      April 30, 2016 at 3:34 am

      You mixing things up. The church introduced the ban on marriages for priests in order to reduce the nepotism that was ruining the church’s moral authority; things like Alexander IV scheming to leave Cesare as ruler of Italy, Paul V being more interested in St Peter’s basilica than growing protestant unrest.

      It banned polygamy to allow widows to inherit their husband’s property rather than the widows and the property being inherited by their husband’s brothers. These widows usually being devout, more often than not on their death left the property to the church. Thus was the beginning of private property.

      Further the Pagans weren’t ungodly………Ungodly would imply they didn’t believe in a deity/deities, they did.

    • Snow White

      April 30, 2016 at 6:18 am

      I was going to comment on you whole pantheist paragraph, but then I realized something…even with your comments, God still loves you so much, and that halted me from saying what I was going to say. I pray that your eyes be enlightened love…Shalom!

  9. Joke

    April 29, 2016 at 5:53 am

    Met a lady recently whose friends $30,000 wedding/marriage lasted just two weeks with a man she dated for 6 years. She had to leave when she discovered he had a 4mth pregnant side chick via breaking into his facebook account. Then he had the balls to say he didn’t even know who out of the two of them he really wanted to be with…People are just plain crazy these days…

  10. april

    April 29, 2016 at 6:14 am

    I didn’t have a big wedding but my wedding was well attended and there was jollof rice. Grace of God, tolerance, hardwork is all required to stay married.
    Sometimes I feel the urge to file for divorce because the man expects me to contribute in every way, pay children school fees, contribute for rent, lessons fees, house help, and others. This makes me work tirelessly to be able to care for the kids and myself.

  11. eva

    April 29, 2016 at 7:49 am

    @April, don’t you want equality?? isn’t that what we’ve been asking and fighting for?? U went to school, got a job and now u don’t want to contribute to the family purse?? u want to use your money to buy louboutin shoes while he uses his to pay the bills?? NNE, abeg, wake up. Equality is here.

  12. zeeva

    April 29, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Dear April, marriage is teamwork. You bring 10
    0 of everything and your partner brings 100 of everything. Sometimes a good lasting marriage happens because the couple perfected the art of selflessness

  13. Mama

    April 29, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Maybe it is just me but I don’t think that it is okay to take the conversation that was done in a closed group and come bash it here, as that is how i see this write up. I was part of that conversation in the group and I know now to keep my comments to myself before someone makes an article out of it as I see it is no longer a safe group. If everyone is allowed to do what pleases him/her then why did we pass a law against same sex marriage? Are they hurting anyone? Why does society frown on single parenthood, are the children in themselves bad? you hold your opinion which i am sure you already contributed on that platform, so what is the point of bringing it here?

    • Fabulicious

      April 29, 2016 at 9:20 am

      Thank you mama.I thought so too while reading this.The group that motivated this your bellanaija article is a “Closed Group”.People were entitled to there opinions on that “Closed Group”Next time,it will be good to mind your business and face your work.

    • Cocolette

      April 29, 2016 at 10:23 am

      I don’t think the writter did any wrong by writing about her experience on ‘the group’ here. She didn’t mention any names or make any reference to your group, did she? One does not even have to be on your group to write this article, our everyday experiences in real life and on bella naija here are enough to form an opinion and bring about this kind of article. Even in the whole Tiwa and Teebillz fiasco people were already making comments on how they can’t keep a marriage together despite having a dubai wedding. So please give the writer a break, she has not broken any confidentiality clause.
      Beautiful article, by the way.

    • Mama

      April 29, 2016 at 11:37 am

      She didn’t have to mention any name (s). Those of us in the group know who and what is being referred to, and that is enough. I even don’t have an issue with her bringing the topic here as much as I do with the tone of the article. If she had said something like “I stumbled on a discussion in a certain group that was about….. (topic). Many views were expressed for and against but this is my position (state her opinion), do you agree or what do you think? (open for conversation)”. something like that would have gone down better.

  14. bumble bee

    April 29, 2016 at 9:11 am

    OMG!!! You know I was having this conversation with my sisters yest nd I told them I don’t understand why people go on and on about those that have lavish weddings… 1st is it you business?!!! Did the couple borrow money from you.. all you are required to do Is show up and have fun.. that’s it.. so what’s it to you if they spent 10million on their wedding?!!!! Secondly isn’t it ironical that those who say this and that as to why someone would have a lavish weddin are the same people who would go to a wedding and criticise everything, from her dress looks cheap to ahah why is there no small chops? Haba drinks have finished this early? I’ve heard these things said time and time again in weddings.. yet they come on social media ranting trash about lavish weddings.. thirdly a marriage that’s meant to last whether 1million was spent or 1billion was spent, the money you spend on having you dream wedding has nothing to do with how thh marraige will be, afterall as a lawyer I’ve seen cases where the couple just had a court weddin with just parents and yet want a divorce… so while you are there judging others on what they spend on their own wedding, I repeat their own wedding, they are there enjoying their marraige. PS:: yes i’m gonna have the wedding of my dreams which would be on bn!! So i’m waiting for that tatafo that will tell me why are you spending that amount on a cake or dress, you would tell me how that’s ur business if (in my best eldee’s voice ) is it your money?

  15. Suky

    April 29, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Today is my 10th year anniversary we paid for our wedding ourselves (£1000 total) with 12 people in attendance family and friends I can tell you what works mostly is comprise communication, respect for each other and staying off social media generally those things are a huge distraction as it keeps you from spending time in each other company which is very important.

    • Grace

      April 29, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Congratulations on your wedding anniversary. God’s blessings always.

    • God's Gold

      April 29, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      Madame, Suky congratulations may the good Lord perfect all that concerns you and your family. I agree keep your marriage off social media is paramount. Even in courtship:engagement my neither changed I didn’t even add him as a friend.

  16. God's Gold

    April 29, 2016 at 11:15 am

    It’s interesting my wedding wasn’t not so lush either. I spent and focused my attention on the areas that meant most to me:
    1. For 9 months my soon to be husband and I prayed and fasted once a week.
    2. We paid for a Sax player to accompany us on our first dance and cutting of the cake ‘John Legends All of me.’
    -I walked down the aisle to Tim Hughes Light of the World.
    3. We came into the reception dancing to praise and worship thanking God for our vows we had just shared. I married in a beautiful Catholic Church in Nigeria exclusively.
    4. Our cake was beautiful, enough good food, bbq fish, my dress was made for me (which I will use to make my children’s attire for their :christening/child dedication next year) which will be a greater event.

    What am I saying putting God first is paramount before and during marriage. You can be creative with your wedding without having to bankrupt yourself on decoration. Sounds cliche but prayer is the key!!!!!!

  17. Gorgeous

    April 29, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Was never raised to have even big birthday parties. So I could care less about a big wedding. But the boo comes from a big and social family. I am content with very little noise and going straight to the business of life together. I am open to compromise so we shall see. I don’t judge those who had or would have a big wedding though. Their prerogative. But I would rather not have people who don’t give a damn about me or know me on my day of celebration. I think how you were raised plays a big role in this decision.

  18. Mama

    April 29, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Okay, I didn’t want to delve into this debate but I think I have to. In my opinion (strictly mine), no one is saying people should not spend on their wedding or do what they want. Personally i believe that what is worth doing is what doing well. In fact be you and do you but beyond that as a society and people we need to move beyond the culture of extravagance, spending because we have the money and follow- follow to one of moderation and modesty (learning how to strike a balance).

    I read a travel blog not long ago here on BN where the writer visited Japan and wrote of her experience. Everyone was awed, all the comments were positive and commentators were all putting Japan in their bucket list. I smiled to myself. You see, we admire societies were such values are practiced (even though we tag them as ungodly) yet we the godly society are unwilling to make the sacrifice that will take our society to the same point they are. Do you know that in Japan almost everyone rides a bicycle? With all the beautiful flashy cars they manufacture, mothers use bicycle for school runs, carrying up to two children (one in front and one at the back). I had to buy and learn how to ride a bicycle here (something I can’t try in Nigeria as I will be mocked). Professionals in their nice suits go to work riding bicycle. University students nko? you hardly find any driving a car to school (meanwhile on our campuses, the story is different). No body looks at you or has your time. Meanwhile these are the people that produce almost all the cars we like to flaunt around in Naija. You think they can’t afford the cars?

    Yes, I know we are talking about weddings not cars but they are all inter-connected. It is not because you have the money you must spend it. Na we no get but na we wan show wealth pass. God help us!

    • Mama

      April 29, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      Please ignore the typos.

  19. pl

    April 29, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    but for those who decides to have a big wedding, please go ahead!

  20. SimpleChic

    April 29, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    all those Dubai wedding people who are now suffering

    fowler
    tiwa
    etc

  21. Ako Bobo

    April 29, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Lavish wedding is just for show off. Am avenue to show wealth. Who really remembers a year or two after the wedding how grand it was? Granted you might have videos, pictures, blog sites but it all for show, a play to upstage friends, relations and enemies. I think so far a wedding has life: good food, good music, good energy from guests, dancing, funny/entertaining MC, a decent hall, that’s all you need to make your wedding grand. All the reset is over sabi. If your guest eat belle full, dance off their pami, that is celeberations

    • Mimi

      April 29, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      Oh shut it! I had a massive wedding because my parents and I could afford it and we have a huge family and we are party people. People wanted to celebrate with us and we all had fun like we always do. No show off here. My money my vastness. When you have yours please do as you please. My marriage is awesome and still kicking thank you. We worked really hard for our money no politician in my family so how is it anyone’s business. And I don’t care if no one remembers a year or 2 after…my album and memories are forever and more than enough.

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